MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Many Grand Strand-area day cares have changed their starting time for child care services, putting some parents who have to work early in a bind.
Some of these day cares that have moved their times from 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. include Tender Years Daycare Center, Creative Beginnings Daycare and Palmetto Preschool.
One parent said the time change is a cause for concern for school teachers and nurses who have to be at work at 7 a.m.
“In what’s already a teacher and nurse shortage crisis, we are now in a complete bind for our own childcare,” the parent said.
The parent asked to remain anonymous because she feared retribution from day cares concerned about negative publicity.
“I wish I could speak publicly about this,” the parent said.
The parent said her day care did not provide enough advance notice of the new start time.
“[The late notice] stopped us from being able to come up with other solutions,” the parent said, adding the time change is just another negative added to the list when it comes to day cares.
“It’s just insane because child care [prices] are already so high,” the parent said. “The [tuition] increase is like adding an additional car payment, and the time change specifically hurts essential workers.”
One day care owner, who also asked to remain anonymous, explained the reasoning behind the time change.
“I can pretty much tell you it’s because the world is in a staff shortage,” the daycare owner said.
The owner said the extra 30 minutes in the morning makes a big difference.
“It pulls our openers and our closers closer together,” the owner said. “We aren’t having to have as many staff to be able to run and operate.”
The owner said pushing the start time from 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. pushes employees 30 minutes into the day, so they can work shorter shifts.
“It’s drastically helping with staffing shortages,” the owner said.
The owner said she understands that parents are upset but hopes they understand what day cares are trying to do.
“Once the parents see our side of the equation, they’ll understand that our first priority is the safety of our children, the safety of our classrooms and safety of our staff,” the owner said.